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Gas prices dip ahead of holiday travel

WILLMAR -- Travelers will find welcome relief at the gas pumps as prices have been dropping over the past week just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday season. Compared to last year at this time, it's a drop of 70 cents or more.

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The price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline remains at $1.99 Tuesday, signs at Willmar gas stations SuperAmerica on South First Street and Holiday on Litchfield Avenue Southwest indicate. Gary Miller/Forum News Service

WILLMAR - Travelers will find welcome relief at the gas pumps as prices have been dropping over the past week just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday season. Compared to last year at this time, it’s a drop of 70 cents or more.

“Most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008,” the AAA reported.
Most gas prices in the region dropped to $1.99 per gallon late last week and have remained steady or even falling more leading up to the Thanksgiving travel season.
Gasbuddy.com reported some other Tuesday prices across Minnesota of $1.94 in Benson, $1.96 in Hutchinson, $1.95 in Litchfield, $1.79 to $1.85 prices in Montrose, $1.89 prices in Morton, $1.93 to $1.95 in Duluth, $1.97 in Sauk Centre, $1.99 in Worthington and $1.96 in Moorhead.
According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, Minnesota gas prices now average $2.004 for regular, compared to an average of $2.15 a week ago and $2.336 a month ago.

Last Thanksgiving, Minnesota gas prices averaged $2.70.
The national gas average Tuesday was $2.06, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. A month ago, it was $2.21 and a year ago it was $2.81.
AAA Travel forecasts 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 0.6 percent increase over the 46.6 million people who traveled last year and the most since 2007.
With 300,000 additional holiday travelers, this marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday through Sunday.
The average price of gas in the United States resumed its slide over the past two weeks, dropping 11 cents to $2.14 a gallon, the lowest since late January, according to a Lundberg survey released Sunday.
Despite improvements in the economy, such as steady wage growth, rising disposable income and a falling unemployment rate, consumers remain cautious about their finances. However, gas prices remain well below 2014 levels, providing an early holiday bonus to the more than 89 percent of holiday travelers who will drive to their destinations.
The recent 5 percent decline in gas prices came as oil refiners and gas wholesalers and retailers passed along lower oil-buying prices to consumers, said survey publisher Trilby Lundberg in an email.
Current retail gas prices are 70 cents below the year-ago period and at the lowest level since Jan. 23, when the average price was $2.07 per gallon. Benchmark crude oil prices were under pressure from hefty supplies and a strong U.S. dollar, the report said.

“The pump price may well continue dropping during the rest of November and into December,” the report said, citing pressure from “abundant” supplies and higher run-rates at U.S. refineries at the end of the seasonal maintenance period.
Lower costs have been passed along the supply chain, and refiners were also “sacrificing some of their gasoline margin,” Lundberg added.
In the panel of cities in the lower 48 states, the low average was in Indianapolis at $1.79 and the high average was in Los Angeles at $2.76 a gallon.
Prices had been up in the previous two-week period, snapping a 19-week slide.

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